"So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith."
Allow me to introduce you to my faithful blogging companion Coconut, a female Maltese who is the youngest (and arguably the cutest) member of our household.
Now I'd like to acquaint you with a group of churches established in 1998 called the Household of Faith Fellowship of Churches (HOFFC). According to their website:
"HOFFC is at the heart of an exciting movement that the Holy Spirit is bringing to the contemporary church as God raises up a host of like-minded family-integrated churches across the land. These churches work from the biblical mandate of helping equip parents to disciple their children. Rather than dividing families at the door, the family engages in the church experience together, as a unit. Pastors / Elders walk alongside parents who have discovered God’s call upon them to make the home the primary place of discipleship for the entire family.
Jesus Christ remains central to our churches. We preach expository messages, maintaining a continuous emphasis upon living out the gospel before our children, the church and the world. Discipleship is not reserved for the church staff, or conducted always through many staff-led programs; rather, there is a complementarian partnership between church and home, both recognizing the home as the primary conduit of the gospel from one generation the next.
HOFFC is an association – a family – of like-minded, evangelical, autonomous family-integrated churches. Since the 90s, HOFFC has grown from one small congregation in Portland, OR, into hundreds of families in various states across the country. Churches and families alike have experienced much joy and fruitfulness in this great adventure of uniting church and home in working toward this gospel-centered vision.
Today fathers, embracing their biblical callings, are growing in their roles as shepherds, theologians and disciplers of their own families. Godly mothers are walking alongside their husbands with a fresh sense of security, joy and purpose. Children are encouraged knowing that their best spiritual mentors are the ones who know them the best."
If you have the time, take a look at this forty-one minute documentary that gives an overview of this church movement.
This is their vision, mission, and purpose:
"Household of Faith Fellowship of Churches (HOFFC) is an association of like-minded, autonomous, evangelical, family-integrated churches. We are bound together with brotherly affection, our mutual love for the person of Jesus Christ, and our commitment to fulfilling the Great Commission. Everything we do is intended to fit within that context, as we demonstrate our love for Christ by faithfully preaching the uncompromised gospel and “contending for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.” (Jude 1)
Today, many churches have usurped, and many families have abdicated, the God-ordained responsibility of parents to raise their own children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Along with hundreds of other Family-Integrated Churches, HOFFC is reforming this trend by intentionally equipping heads of households to shepherd their own families.
Alarmed at the rate at which the Church in America is losing its children to the world, there is an obvious need to reform the church – to restore the biblical relationships and mandates of both church and home…"
HOFCC was founded in mid-Augut 1998 in Portland, Oregon in the home of Gregg and Sono Harris. Gregg and Sono are the parents of Joshua Harris (pastor of Covenant Life Church) and his brothers Alex and Brett are Rebelutionaries. Several years ago I "dug down deep" into Joshua Harris' background, which you can read here. Joshua moved from Portland, Oregon to Gaithersburg, Maryland in 1997 in order to be mentored by C.J. Mahaney. In case you weren't aware, Sono Harris passed away on July 4, 2010, and we are mindful of the fact that the Harris family will be marking the second anniversary of her death a week from today.
According to the website, HOFFC has had three distinctives from its inception:
1. Restoring a more biblical relationship between church and home
2. Raising up fathers as the shepherds and disciplers of their own families
3. Planting new family-integrated churches
Several more household of faith churches were started in the Portland area, and then other churches began to pattern themselves after these churches. In 2008-09 the Household of Faith Family of Churches (HOFFC) was established. It has since "adopted" other congregations into the "Fellowship of Churches". These family integrated churches (FICs), which now total TWELVE, are listed in the National Center for Family Integrated Churches (NCFIC) Network of Churches. If you are not familiar with FICs, we recommend you read a previous post at TWW called What Are Family Integrated Churches?
Last fall we focused on FICs and a documentary advocating for them called Divided. Here are several posts that provide some information abot the Family Integrated Church concept.
We believe an excellent way to learn about an organization is to survey the books they read and the links they recommend, as noted below.
Systematic Theology – Wayne Grudem
Desiring God – John Piper
Family Driven Faith – Voddie Baucham
Don't Waste Your Life – John Piper
9 Marks of a Healthy Church – Mark Dever
Feed My Sheep – R. Albert Mohler
What Is a Healthy Church – Mark Dever
What He Must Be – Voddie Baucham
I Kissed Dating Goodbye – Joshua Harris
Boy Meets Girl – Joshua Harris
Biblical Foundations for Manhood and Womanhood – Wayne Grudem
Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood – Piper and Grudem
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – Bruce Ware
Do Hard Things – Alex and Brett Harris
Start Here – Alex and Brett Harris
The brief history included below acknowleges that there have been bumps in the road (and Dee will discuss one such bump tomorrow).
"HOFCC is in its 13th year; though there have been bumps along the way, we continue to rejoice in what God began here in 1998. We see what God has wrought in our own lives and in local families. We celebrate as we see our youth standing against the culture and growing into faithful men and women ready to lead their own families as productive members of the Body of Christ."
Hopefully, this background information has provided you with a better understanding of HOFFC. As you read subsequent posts, you may want to refer back to this information.
Lydia's Corner: Amos 1:1-3:15 Revelation 2:1-17 Psalm 129:1-8 Proverbs 29:19-20